After taking this course teachers will be able to:

  • Define and describe self-regulation (sensory, physical, cognitive, social & emotional) difficulties that impact children in your classroom

  • Identify (sensory, physical, cognitive, social & emotional) regulation strategies that can be used with students to help them to engage, focus and participate in class activities

  • Identify how executive functioning skills (that is - working memory, task initiation, emotional control, planning, organisation, self-monitoring) impact the student’s engagement, learning and inclusion in class

  • Identify a range of executive functioning skills (e.g. planning, organization, time-management) strategies that can enhance students' abilities to participate and self-manage in the classroom and school setting

  • Reflect upon their practice and how self-regulation and organisational skill strategies could be integrated as a whole-school, class-based or individualised approach.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Learning objectives

    • Course Overview

    • Terms of Agreement and Disclaimer

  • 2

    Welcome to the course!

    • How to use this course

    • Welcome

  • 3

    Module 1 - Why do some children struggle to maintain attention, focus, sit still and organise themself?

    • Lesson 1.1 Signs and symptoms of poor self-regulation in the classroom

    • Reflection - Learning Assignment: 1

    • Lesson 1.2 What is Self-Regulation

    • Lesson 1. 3 Executive function & Self-Regulation - Center on Child Development Harvard University

    • Shared Learning Assignment: 2

  • 4

    Module 2

    • Lesson 2.0 Module Overview

    • Lesson 2.1 Physical Regulation​

    • The Importance of Sleep in Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing and Regulation - NCSE

    • Lesson 2.2 Learning Assignment Instructions

    • Learning Assignment 3: Sensory-Motor Checklist

    • Lesson 2.3 Signs & symptoms of sensory processing difficulties in the classroom​

    • Lesson 2.4​ Our sensory systems

    • Lesson 2. 5- What are Sensory Issues

    • Lesson 2.6 Sensory processing from a child's perspective

    • Lesson 2.7 Activities that can help the child to calm their arousal

    • Lesson 2.8 Strategies to support effective sensory regulation​

    • Setting up the environment for a movement breaks

    • Movement break activity idea - a

    • Movement break activity idea - b

    • Movement break activity idea - c

    • Movement break activity idea - d

    • In class sensory based regulation activity

    • Additional Resources - Sensory Processing Information for Parents: NCSE Resource

    • Using scissors skills as a tactile sensory activity

  • 5

    Module 3 - Emotional regulation

    • Lesson 3.1 Emotional Regulation

    • Learning assignment 4: Emotion regulation strategies quiz

    • Lesson 3.2 Breathing activities to support emotional regulation

    • Lesson 3.3 Sand play as an emotional regulation activity

  • 6

    Module 4 - Executive functioning skills - strategies to support engagement, learning and inclusion​

    • Lesson 4.1 Strategies to support executive functioning

    • Learning assignment 5: Gathering information on the child's executive functioning abilities

  • 7

    Module 5 - Setting up the school environment to support self-regulation​

    • Lesson 5.1 Environmental strategies to support self-regulation

    • Lesson 5.2 Using visuals to support self-regulation

    • Lesson 5.3 Using timers to support self-regulation

    • Lesson 5.4 Impact of environment on organisation

    • How can the environment promote movement within the classroom - NCSE Resource

    • Final Assessment

  • 8

    Course completion

    • Participant Evaluation Form

    • Thank you



Áine O'Dea

Dr. Áine O'Dea is an occupational therapist. She brings a distinctive background of clinical expertise, leadership, and research experience, having worked in various clinical and academic settings in Ireland and the UK. Áine was the first occupational therapist in Ireland to be awarded the prestigious SPHeRE (Structured Population and Health-services Research Education) PhD scholarship from the HRB (Health Research Board), during which she completed her doctoral studies in the area of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), examining both the most effective interventions to treat this disorder, and how to combat the negative impacts it has on inclusion and participation for young people. Áine provides consultative services to the National Council for Special Education’s Occupational Therapy Support for Schools Project, which is a partnership between NCSE and the University of Limerick started in early 2019.